Mulching

Soil microbiologists estimated that, if you activate 0.15 million earthworms in one acre in one year (4 earthworms per square foot soil), they cast their castings (excreta) in that huge extent, in which there are a huge enormous quantity of all nutrients required for the growth and production per acre, by which, you will get 200 metric tons of sugarcane, 120 Kg bunch of banana, 120 quintal of (paddy, Juar, Wheat, Bajra, Maize) grains per acre, 40 tons of grapes per acre, 40 tons pomegranate per acre, 480 coconuts per coconut tree, 40 tons fruits per acre, 40 quintal cotton per acre per year.

       What a miracle production? What a miraculous achievement? What an astonishing production rate? Will you believe? No! Why? Have you counted the number of Tamarind fruits on the forest tamarind tree? No? Will you able to count? No? Is it not a miracle? Nature has given us countenance to create this miracle countless fruits production, on no account, Nature will turn to account to create this miracle, there is need of your accountability only. This miracle can be achieved by you in your field or farming. The local earthworms and microorganisms do this miracle only in the specific ideal condition in the soil. This specific ideal condition is called microclimate in & on the soil. If you can create this microclimate in & on your soil, you will be definitely near that miracle. What is this microclimate? How it is to be created in our farming? We will see.

       On the soil, in the blowing air within standing crops, there should be 25 to 32 oC temperature, 65 to 72% relative humidity, as well as for monocot grain crops 7000 to 10000 foot candle, for dicot fruit trees 3700 to 5400 foot candle and 1800 to 2700 foot candle for spices crops intensity of solar light. And in the soil, there should be darkness, percolated, weak, feeble solar light, aeration (Waaphasa) i.e. Uub & Maya (loving & affection). What is the special super high tech to create this microclimate? Is it to be imported from Europe America or Israel? No! If you want to create this microclimate, only one action is essential. We have to protect trillions of microbes and earthworms from sunlight, wind, cold and eater animals. For that purpose, you have to cover the soil by shawl by Maya i.e. mulching of any biomass, may be dried or living organic matter. Once you will mulch the soil by mulching and will give Jiwamrita, the miracle result will be achieved by you. What is mulching? Mulching is the cover of the soil. How many types of the mulching are?

Types of Mulching 

I have classified the concept of mulching in three types; according to variation of biomass availability and traditional ancient techniques, applied by our ancient farmers in India before 100 years.

  1. Soil Mulching (Mrida Aacchadana)
  2. Straw Mulching (Kashta Aacchadana)
  3. Live Mulching (Sajiva Aacchadana, intercrops & mixed crop)

A. Soil Mulching (Cultivation)

There are three purposes of the cultivation. To circulate the air in the soil, to stop the raindrops to flow and to conserve them in the soil and to control the weeds. Because, the oxygen is essential to the roots and micro-organisms in the soil. Conserved rain water storage is essential for the growth of the crops and the stoppage of the rainwater flow to restrict the topsoil erosion. Weeds are to be controlled to stop the competition of the weeds with the crops for water vapor and sunlight. Not for food. Because, mother soil is ‘Annapurna’. In the nature, there is no any competition for food in between any two plants. If, it is the truth that, the aeration and soil moisture is essential for the roots and soil micro-organisms, then, the cultivation should be practiced in that soil layer, in which, these feeding roots and micro-organisms are active. In which layer these roots and soil biota are active? They are active in the top most 4.5 to 6 inch (10 to 15 cm) topsoil layer. So, the cultivation of the soil should be practiced in only this 10 to 15 cm layer. Bellow this layer, there are stock roots, not feeding roots! Air and moisture is essential for only feeding roots, not for stock roots.

B. Straw Mulching (Cultivation)

In Hemanta Ritu, the seeds become matured. At the same time, the leaves start to mature totally. The green leaves now start to change in pale yellow and then whitish yellow colour. During this colour changing process, the tap roots and secondary godown roots lift up the four nutrients i.e. nitrogen, phosphate, potash and magnesium from the yellowish leaves and deposit them in to their godown (Godown roots). But, rest of the nutrients remains in the leaves. Why the roots lift these nutrients from the leaves and deposit in the godown roots? There is reason. Please, understand one thing, that nature never does anything without purpose and preplan. Nature wants to supply these four prominent nutrients to the ratoons in next generation by this uplifting and depositing in the godown roots. This cover of dried straw biomass of the previous plants or crops is called straw mulching. By this straw mulching cover, the nature has achieved so many targets. First, the seeds are covered by this straw mulching to save from birds, insects and animals. Second, the microclimate is created to activate the micro-organisms and local earthworms. Third, the favorable condition is created to decompose the godown roots and to prepare the humus stock in the soil for future new crop generation as a reserve bank. Fourth, the soil moisture is conserved in the soil and transpiration of soil moisture is restricted for the continuous soil micro-organisms utilization. Fifth, the humus saturated soil particles and soil biota in the upper most 10 cm layer of soil surface are saved from the severe heat waves of sunlight in Grishma Ritu (summer), from cold winds in Winter Ritu and from heavy stormy rain drops of pre-monsoon and monsoon raindrops; which spring forward with the dreary demon speed of 7 meter (30 feet) per second on the soil!

C. Live Mulching (Symbiotic Intercrops & Mixed Crops)

Live mulching means that intercrops and mixed crops, which give the symbiosis to the host main crop. In the nature there is a symbiosis. All vegetation is a whole family and each member plant is dependent to other plant. In forest, you will see that, there is a five-layer system. Big tree, medium tree, bush, grasses and layer of fallen dried leaves on the surface of land. All five layers are dependent upon each other. Grasses are growing in the shadow of bush or shrub. Shrubs are growing in the shadow of medium tree. Medium tree is growing in the shadow of big tree. All are living. If they are living without any family disputes, without any debates, it is the symptom of symbiosis. Nature has managed all vegetation family members in two groups. Those like shadow and those do not like shadow. The grass family monocot crops like paddy, wheat, Juar, sugarcane, Bajra, Ragi, Maize, millets and monocot grasses do not like shadow. They like full sunlight. They can grow in highest intensity of sunlight also. But, spices crops do not like straight sunlight. They want shadow or low intensity of sunlight. Some fruit trees like Grapes, Pomegranate, Orange group, Banana, Sapota, Mango, Areca nut, Betel nut, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Clove tree, Coffee and other do not like full sunlight. They live and grow in low intensity of sunlight. The mixed crop pattern of Monocot in Dicot & Dicot in Monocot helps to supply the essential elements to the crops. The Dicot supplies Nitrogen by means of nitrogen fixing bacteria & Monocot supplies other elements like Potash, Phosphate, Sulphur etc.